Taster is a curator of food brands which we have built for the delivery era. We work with partners to operate our brands out of their existing kitchens and we use technology to scale rapidly.
We currently license four food brands to partners across Europe, focusing on quality not quantity in our portfolio: Out Fry (Korean fried chicken), A Burgers (dirty vegan burgers), Mission Saigon (Vietnamese) and Pepe Chicken (American-style fried chicken).
Partners get access to our proprietary Taster tech suite, an end-to-end solution that provides restaurant owners with the three key requirements of a kitchen – sourcing, food preparation and analysis of performance.
In a nutshell, Taster is defining what it means to be a restaurant group in the 21st century by combining innovative technology, strong digital brands and a model that works for restaurateurs and customers alike.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
I was an early Deliveroo employee working with many brands and restaurant owners. It was during this time I spotted a new opportunity – creating food brands entirely dedicated to delivery that are scaled using tech and centred around the customer, focusing on experience, quality, variety and speed of service.
Taster was born in a tiny kitchen in the 11th arrondissement in Paris, where we created and delivered the first Vietnamese bo bun from our brand Mission Saigon in 2017.
Since then, my ambition has been to create exciting food brands that create an emotional connection with customers, as well as help kitchen owners adapt to the explosion of the food delivery market.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
Global lockdowns have accelerated the market of ‘delivery first’ or ‘virtual’ brands but even pre-pandemic, 52% of global consumers said they felt comfortable ordering from a delivery only restaurant. Up to 80% of 18-39 year olds were ordering food via an app at least once a week. Because of this consumer habit shift, brands that focus on the elevated at home experience will be the ones that endure.
From an industry perspective, clearly global lockdowns have had a big impact on hospitality – many businesses are looking for new revenue streams. Delivery-only digital brands allow restaurateurs to experiment with new offerings or expand to new locations, with low risk.
What can we hope to see from Taster in the future?
2022 is set to be a huge year for Taster as we focus on expansion across our core geographies. We’re already off to a strong start by opening one digital restaurant every single day in February, strengthening our footprint in key locations such as Madrid, Nice, London and Paris. Currently, there are over 170 Taster digital restaurants across Europe and our aim is to reach well over 500 by the end of this year.
We’re fuelling our expansion by focusing on bustling, metropolitan areas with lots of excited and adventurous foodies, then partnering with ambitious local entrepreneurs who see the potential in our model.
Strengthening our tailor made tech suite is also a focus for us. We developed our tech by spending time in kitchens to understand the real challenges of running a kitchen. What we’ve created is a total end-to-end solution to help partners across the three main areas of running a kitchen: supply chain, operations and performance.
Finally, we’re always dreaming up new food brands we know will help our kitchen partners thrive in the delivery era, partnering with co-creators and authentic experts to boost the Taster platform. It’s not about one off stunts or quick wins, we want to develop long-term partnerships with quality food and a great end-to-end customer experience. Watch this space!